Date:  December 4, 2023

Indonesia (International Christian Concern) — Several residents rejected the construction of the Gamaliel Christian School in Parepare City, South Sulawesi. The locals pushed for construction to stop, alleging the school did not have the correct permit. Construction stopped even though the Gamaliel School had obtained the required construction permit from the regional government.

This rejection was motivated by residents’ objections to a Christian school being built in a Muslim neighborhood. 

Chairman of the Gamaliel Christian Education Foundation, Djuanda Alfonsius, said the permission to build the Gamaliel Christian School was obtained from the Regional Government of Parepare City in July 2023. Meanwhile, the land for the building belonged to the church, which was then handed over to the foundation to be converted into a school. 

The attorney for the Gamaliel Foundation, Rachmat S. Lulung, emphasized that the Gamaliel Christian School is not a school specifically for Christian children. According to him, this school is open to the public because it focuses on educating all local children. 

With the upcoming national elections in February 2024, this case again highlights the ongoing injustices Christian groups face in meeting to worship corporately and building new schools or churches. This intolerance is increasing for Christians in Indonesia. 

HOW TO PRAY: Please pray that cases of intolerance like this do not spread in Indonesia and pray the current and incoming government are more tolerant of religious freedoms and diversity in the country. Pray for provision for this Christian community. Pray for proper legal protection for them from harassment. Pray for peace between this community and their neighbors.